The Chicago Bears have some momentum building after a huge Thursday night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Their next opponent doesn’t figure to be an easy one in the Carolina Panthers. After losing their first two games of the year, the restructured team has won three-straight behind the steady play of Teddy Bridgewater and the unexpected ascent of Mike Davis at running back.

However, not everybody is having fun. The Panthers’ defense is a shadow of the unit it used to be under Ron Rivera. Still, they at least managed to be steady over the first month of the season. Things took an ugly turn though after last Sunday as star defensive tackle Kawann Short came up lame with a shoulder injury.

The defensive captain and dangerous interior pass rusher already suffered a similar issue the year before. It seems that nightmare will continue. Word out of Carolina is the team will be shutting him down for the season with another surgery on the way.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Panthers are also ailing elsewhere on the defensive line. Both of their defensive ends, Brian Burns (concussion) and Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle) failed to practice on Wednesday. It’s clear this unit isn’t going into next Sunday at 100%.

Bears know they can’t take Carolina Panthers lightly

The team is too well-coached for that. Not to mention it’s not like the Bears offense is playing lights out football of late. That being said, an opportunity is presenting itself for them to finally start gaining some traction. Carolina has played well against the pass this year (4th) but they’ve struggled a lot to stop the run at 25th in the NFL. With Short going down and two other guys up front ailing?

This presents a prime chance for Chicago to get David Montgomery going after back-to-back games where he was a non-factor on the ground. That could prove a challenge though as their offensive line is dealing with health issues of its own. James Daniels was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn pectoral.

He was arguably their best blocker so far this season. It remains to be seen if the untried Alex Bars, a former undrafted free agent, can fill that void. This game should tell a lot about where Chicago is headed offensively.

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